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These Rules come into force on 1 October 2007 and make amendments to rules relating to the Family Proceedings Courts in relation to (a) the coming into force of sections 6 and 7 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) and (b) communication of information relating to proceedings.
The Children and Adoption Act 2006
Section 6 of the 2006 Act amends section 16 of the Children Act 1989 (the 1989 Act) to, inter alia, make provision for a family assistance order to direct the officer appointed under that order to prepare a report to the court on such matters relating to an order under section 8 of the 1989 Act as the court may require. Section 7 of the 2006 Act inserts a new section 16A in the 1989 Act to make provision for an officer of the service or a Welsh family proceedings officer to prepare a risk assessment in specified circumstances where he suspects that a child is at risk of harm.
Rule 4 amends rule 1(2) of the Family Proceedings Courts (Children Act 1989) Rules 1991 (the 1991 Rules) to insert the new defined terms 'family assistance order report' and 'risk assessment'. Rule 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 amend various of the 1991 Rules to ensure that those rules apply to officers of the service or Welsh family proceedings officers preparing family assistance order reports or risk assessments. Rule 7 inserts a new rule 11AA in the 1991 Rules to make provision for additional powers and duties to apply to such officers.
Rule 8 inserts a new rule 13A in the 1991 Rules to ensure that all rules which apply to, or in respect of, local authority officers preparing section 7 reports apply equally to, or in respect of, local authority officers preparing family assistance order reports.
Rule 12 inserts a new rule 17AA in the 1991 Rules to make provision for service of risk assessments by the court.
Rule 14 amends the standard form of family assistance order (form C42) in the 1991 Rules, inter alia, to provide that, where there are no proceedings pending, an officer of the service or Welsh family proceedings officer who makes a risk assessment has the ability to apply to the court to revive the previous proceedings and to consider the risk assessment. Rule 15 makes a consequential amendment to Schedule 2 to the 1991 Rules.
Communication of information relating to proceedings
Rule 13 amends the table in rule 23A of the 1991 Rules to enable a party to communicate any information to an appeal tribunal under section 20 of the Child Support Act 1991 and to an adoption panel and the communication of information must be for specified purposes. A definition of an adoption panel is inserted in to paragraph (4) of rule 23A of the 1991 Rules. Rule 17 amends the Family Proceedings Courts (Child Support Act 1991) Rules 1993. The amendments enable a party to communicate any information relating to proceedings under the Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates' Courts Act 1978 or under Schedule 6 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 relating to proceedings held in private to an appeal tribunal under section 20 of the Child Support Act 1991.